Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - October 2013  

The Hazel Diaries II

by Roxanne Currie

I began practicing yoga and meditating in the sixties, because the Beatles were doing it and they were cool.

We meditated in the attic of the Sanskrit professor at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Usharbudh Arya, and we continued until the attic collapsed. When we said we were doing yoga, we were meditating. We sometimes did postures to get the body comfortable, to sit in meditation for longer periods of time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dr. Arya do postures.

Laura (my daughter) and I went to our first yoga retreat together. We were late to the first meditation at 5 AM and had to sit in the back of the room. It was raining cats and dogs, and someone’s raincoat dripped down the back of my neck throughout. I’d never been camping before, and I was distressed.  My active, 3 year old daughter was trapped in a living cage of meditating hippies.  She didn’t seem to mind.  They didn’t either.  It did not occur to me I was the only one feeling very put-out.

Later on I was carrying my daughter on one hip and I saw Dr. Arya walking toward us wearing a white kurta and white pants, as always, but how he walked through the mud to the dining hall without getting dirty himself was a mystery to me. Laura and he held out their hands to each other as though to embrace as we passed, so I handed her to him, knowing she could not have been safer. Moments later I found I wanted her back! It was a simple thing, a tiny, internal thing that changed within me.

Twenty-five years later Laura asked me to join her and 2 of her friends at The Meditation Center to learn the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Of course, I said yes.

After the lecture, we four circled him to thank him. I introduced myself and asked him if he remembered the event I described and watched Laura blush, and the thought flashed through my mind he’s not going to remember this tiny detail that happened so many years ago, but I persisted. I said we were at Stillwater; it rained so hard, mud everywhere; Swami Rama, Charles Bates, Horst, Rolf Sovik were there, and I was walking and you were walking toward us by the dining hall. .. .  He looked confused; then I said, “and I was carrying my little girl on my hip and you took her from me, then I wanted her back a few moments later  …”

Recognition lit his face.  “Oh, yes, I do remember,” he said, and I said “Here she is, all grown up.”  He looked both shocked and delighted as he recognized her, as though she’d grown up overnight.  He turned to her and patted the air around her head and shoulders.

Later Laura said “I was sure he wasn’t going to remember, and my friends are going to think my mother is a fruitcake, but when he remembered that moment I was 3 years old again and I started to cry.”

Years later, when I was in first year teacher’s training, Laura was pregnant. I asked Swami Veda what I could do to help her. He said to use the Gayatri Mantra for her. He started remembering what they do for a newborn in India. They keep the baby inside the home, with the mother for the first 30 days. They shave the baby’s head, as samskaras (past life memories or stains) are stored in the hair from the mother’s amniotic fluid. Someone initiates the baby by placing OM in the baby’s right ear. It’s not until the baby is 30 days old that they take the child outside and introduce her to the sun, the moon and the stars.

The following year Swamiji came to town. We made an appointment to have them meet. He sprinkled her with rose petals and gave her sips of holy water from his cup and initiated her with OM. On our way out she held out her arms for Swami Ma Sewa to hold her. “I’m honored.” Swami Sewa said.

Hazel met three swamis that day. Months later Laura and Hazy were at a store and Hazy was giving Laura a go. Two Lady Swamis noticed her and remembered her. Here’s our Hazel who led the meditation with Swamiji, so sweet. She smiled and turned into a little monkey again when they left.

Editor’s Note:

This is the second “The Hazel Diaries” to appear in the AHYMSIN newsletter.  To read the first article, please use this link: http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1309Sep/06.html

Roxanne Currie is a writer, grandmother, Raja yogi. She maintained her yoga practice since she was introduced to Swami Rama and his teachings in 1968. She received mantra initiation from Swami Veda Bharati, formerly Dr. Usharbudh Arya, to the Himalayan Tradition in 1972, and became certified to teach in 2008.  She teaches yoga in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area.

We invite you to visit her website: www.goodmedicineyoga.com

Roxanne has a Good Medicine Yoga DVD entitled “Stretch Breathe Relax.”  Please see http://www.goodmedicineyoga.com/htmlsite/products.html   It is also available at the online bookstore of The Meditation Center, which ships nationally and internationally, and is under the title “Good Medicine Yoga DVD.”